While many Star Wars fans would like to pretend the prequels didn't exist, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to acknowledge them in a big way—by including Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker.
Slight spoilers lie ahead.
If you've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you know that there are plenty of cameos made by past characters, but Christensen's isn't one of them. But that doesn't mean the idea isn't out of the question for future installments. There's still a rumor that he'll appear in Episode VIII or Rogue One, but until those movies are released fans won't know for sure. They will, however, know what he looks like because a new book titled The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens includes concept art that reveals how he would've appeared.
Artist Ian McCraig explains in the book, per Vanity Fair, why he depicted Anakin this way.
"'When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.' That inspired me to propose, for the first time, that Anakin's ghost could come back...If we see Anakin Skywalker, because he does flow back and forth between Darth Vader and Anakin, let's see him as a character with a dark and light side," he writes. "The reason Luke is this whole new entity is because he was the first to acknowledge his own dark side—that it was not separate from him."
The concept art for Anakin's return depicts him as a creepy disfigured ghost, so now fans continue to try to figure out who Anakin could be haunting—if anyone—in the future installments. Many wonder if it's Rey, who started to discover her connection to the Force at the end of The Force Awakens, but others suppose it could be Luke, who didn't appear until the last scene of the movie.
Do you think Anakin should return? Sound off in the comments below.